Over the years we’ve grown used to the idea that popular apps tend to come out of nowhere. Established companies and independent developers alike are all over the world, constantly working on the next apps that they hope will shoot to the top of the charts. And particularly in gaming, there’s no telling when a new hit will arrive or where it will come from. Who knew, for instance, that an app called Clash Of Clans would one day earn a reported $1.5 million per day? Or that an indie geometrical puzzle solver called Monument Valley would be so thoroughly appreciated for its beauty and mystique that it would be featured in a popular TV show? It’s really pretty phenomenal to see the rise of these random, popular games.
But as much fun as it is to allow these games to come out of nowhere, there are a few areas in which we may also be able to predict the popular app games of the future. In these cases, anything from an existing foundation for a game to an upcoming event might foreshadow an app (or series of apps) bound to take over the app store sooner or later. These are a few examples.
As close as anything to a certainty in the mobile gaming market is the idea that major film releases, particularly in the action and sci-fi genres, lead to app games. Many such games are a little bit lacklustre, and function more like playable advertisements than actual games. But in some cases we’ve seen some pretty exceptional titles. For instance, the Man Of Steel app by Warner Bros. was a very popular and well-received game, despite what can only be described as a mediocre performance by the film of the same name. Last summer, we saw Ludia’s Jurassic World game present what essentially amounted to a twist on a civilization building game with RPG elements, allowing players to design their own Jurassic Park-esque worlds.
The trick in forecasting titles like these is to look for a few common elements. If a film has recognisable heroes (such as most superhero films), popular subject matter (such as a zombie story), or can be twisted into elements of strategy (like planning out a Jurassic Park), there’s a good bet it will lead to a popular app game. More specifically, looking ahead, expect popular mobile games for the likes of Independence Day: Resurgence, multiple superhero movies we’ve yet to see released in 2016, and Jason Bourne.
Online gambling laws and restrictions in Canada and the U.S. are varied depending on specific areas. In Canada online gambling remains largely illegal, though Native American territories control some online servers that can be used legally. In the U.S. only a handful of states allow for legal access to online gambling platforms. But should restrictions be lightened, particularly in the U.S., we’ll see a boom in demand for such platforms. As explained by Gaming Post, more activity in the U.S. would mean more revenues for gambling sites, and probably more business for Canada as well.
Whatever the case, it seems inevitable that online casinos will become more accessible, even if it takes a number of years. And when the time comes, the impact on the mobile app market is pretty much set in stone. Already where gambling laws are lighter we see major online sites offering mobile versions as well. The Gala Casino mobile platform essentially offers the company’s entire site in app form, giving players access not just to one game or another, but a whole range of casino games and even live competition. An app like this could (and will) sweep aside the limitless cheap imitations of casino entertainment when the laws allow for it.
Finally, there’s the question if when Nintendo is going to expand its mobile presence, now that the gaming giant has made the determination to get into the market. Miitomo, the company’s first mobile app, was a little bit of a surprise, and is more of a social networking experiment than an actual game. But naturally where Nintendo is concerned one would expect that gaming is inevitable. There’s no telling which specific titles we’ll see – be it an adaptation of Super Mario or Donkey Kong, or something entirely new – but we can safely assume that when the company does release a mobile game it will shoot to the top of the charts.
Beyond ideas like these, it’s still very hard to predict which games will be released, let alone whether they’re bound for popularity and success or headed for obscurity. But where these ideas are concerned we can all but guarantee some of the next chart-topping hits.